Your personalised See Colombia tour takes you to four of Colombia’s highlights – the dynamic cultural haven of Bogota and Zipaquira, home to salt mines and the stunning Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira and just 4 hours away the colonial town of Villa de Leyva; the breathtaking Coffee Triangle; the modern Medellin; the laid-back, enchanting Cartagena (named a UNESCO World Heritage site); and the unique Tayrona National Park. Leaving Bogota, you will have the opportunity to see Colombia’s famous Coffee Triangle, where the scenery is every bit as good as the coffee and, together, form an unforgettable experience. From Armenia you will visit Medellin. Then you will travel to Cartagena where the cobbled streets of the old city never fail to leave a mark on visitors and the city’s rich gastronomical and cultural scene keep tourists coming back for more. And if relaxing with a coffee in the charming main square gets too much for you, the following destination is Tayrona National Park, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia, where you can relax and rejuvenate yourself.
Day 1 - February 16. Bogota
Upon arrival one of See Colombia Travel´s representatives will be on hand to transfer you to your chosen hotel where you can relax and prepare for your upcoming adventure with us.
Day 2 - February 17. Bogota - City Tour
This excursion visits the colonial area of La Candelaria, the historical center of the city. It is in the oldest part of the capital, where you’ll find museums, restaurants and cultural institutions. Afterwards we visit the Bolívar Square at the heart of the city and surrounded by buildings of various styles and from various periods, such as the Cathedral, the Chapel of El Sagrario, the Cardinal’s Palace and the Capitolio or Congress Building. Behind the latter is the Nariño Palace, home of the president. We continue to the Quinta de Bolívar. Once a colonial mansion of great architectural value, it is now converted into a museum that houses documents and objects that belonged to Simón Bolívar. As an alternative, this tour can be done by bike. Meals: B.
Day 3 - February 18. Bogota – Zipaquira – Guatavita. Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira and El Dorado’s Sacred Lake
Departure towards Zipaquirá to visit the salt mines, from where the monumental Salt Cathedral was excavated. This unique structure is almost 400ft deep and it occupies an area of around 8000m². It is a feat of human endeavor and and unforgettable destination on your trip.
After visiting the salt mines, we’ll continue to the Lake of Guatavita, where the legend of El Dorado originates. According to this legend, in the pre-Columbian days the Indians held special religious ceremonies in which the Chief (Cacique), with his body totally covered with gold dust, was submerged in the lake as an offering to their gods, while the natives threw precious stones and gold pieces into the lake.
In 1967 the area, including the old village, was flooded, forcing the construction of a new town in a style that resembles the old Spanish colonial architecture. The day concludes with a return to Bogota. Accommodation: BH El Retiro Hotel, Meals: B
Day 4 - February 19. Bogota - Villa de Leyva.
Departure towards Villa de Leyva crossing the beautiful Bogotas’ Sabanah with its amazin green mountains and picturesque little towns . Meals: B.
Day 5 - February 20. Villa de Leyva. Half day city tour
The visit begins through the Ricaurte Square, also known as San Agustin Square and continues to the house of Antonio Nariño, who was a journalist, politician, and militant. He played an important role in the independence of the country. The visit continues through the Main Square. Covering over 14000m², it is the biggest square in Colombia. There you will see the notorious Cathedral, and the facade of what used to be the house of Luis Alberto Acuña, a painter, sculptor, and Colombian historian who transformed it into a museum. The tour ends with a visit to the church of El Carmen and its surrounding park. Rest of the day is free to get lost in any of Villa de Leyva’s enchanted cobble stone streets or to join any of the optional activities available. Meals: B.
Day 6 - February 21. Villa de Leyva – Raquira – Bogota - Armenia
After breakfast we start heading back to Bogota. On the way we cross the Candelaria Desert and Convento: the first Agustinian monastery in America, founded in 1604. In the first floor of the convent there is a small museum displaying a mixture of antiques and canvases dating back to 1600.
Leaving the monastery behind we make a short stop in Raquira. A colorful town, which in Chibcha means “the town of pots”, that is known as the handicrafts center of Colombia, and has also been named one of the prettiest towns in Boyaca thanks to the unique decorations of its many facades. After lunch we continue our journey back to Bogota’s airport to your flight to Armenia. Upon arrival to Armenia, one of See Colombia Travel´s representatives will be on hand to transfer you to your chosen finca where you can relax and prepare for your upcoming adventure with us. During your time at the Coffee Triangle you’ll stay in a traditional coffee farm (finca) which features colourful, traditional balconies, mud ceiling tiles and a fresh cup coffee (tinto) always available. Meals: B.
Day 7 - February 22. Finca – Cocora Valley (optional - not included)
At a prearranged time the expedition begins, heading to Salento and the Cocora Valley. It holds within it a colonial and historic past, as you will see as you walk amongst the unique landscapes, observing the flowing clear waters of the Quindio River, and the impressive plantations of wax palm- the national tree. Salento and in general the Coffee Triangle, has one of the richest coffee cultures and most scenic coffee crops. It has preserved its colonial architecture and the customs of the local country people. Furthermore, it’s an ideal site for hiking or horseback rides followed by a meal of exquisite trout, the prized local dish. Todays lunch is included at a traditional local restaurant. Meals: B, L.
Day 8 - February 23. Coffee Experience and Tasting - Medellin
Recuca is the Recorrido de la Cultura Cafetera (Cultural Coffee Experience tour), where you will gain a unique insight into the real lives of the coffee workers. This tour allows us to learn the fantastic and mystical history of the coffee growing culture and the colonization of Antioquia. From the coffee corps we will continue to the Joyful Harvest, where you can wear traditional outfits and harvest, pulp, dry, roast and ground your own coffee as the locals have done since colonial times. Then, after a great day at work you can sit down and enjoy a fantastic cup of the best Colombia Coffee, specially processed and made by you, for you!. In the afternoon transfer from your finca to the airport for your flight to Medellin. Upon arrival in Medellin, transfer to your specially chosen hotel. Meals: B, L.
Day 9 - February 24. Medellin. City Tour - Escobar is History Tour
A 4 hour trip, that uncovers the roots of Medellín and its most iconic symbols, such as the “Pueblito Paisa”, the Intelligent Building, the Plaza Mayor, the Administrative Center of La Alpujarra and Carabobo street. We will travel in the “Metro Cable”, a massive transportation system unique to the city, and visit of the España Library Park and its distinctive architectural structure. In the afternoon take the interesting Pablo Escobar is History Tour. Our tour is a unique insight into the life of one of the world’s most dangerous men. The tour will give you a lot of information about the man and his legacy, but contrasting the city today with the information you’re given it becomes increasingly clear that Pablo Escobar is well and truly history.The tour begins with a little information given to you on your way to Pablo Escobar’s old house, just outside of the city center. It’s here that you’ll get the opportunity to meet Pablo Escobar’s brother, Roberto. He will welcome you to the house as your tour guide talks you through the remnants of Escobar’s life: his old cars, his hideouts, old photos and much more. Any money donated at this point goes towards a charity aimed at helping communities without the support of local governments. Meals: B.
Day 10 - February 25. Medellin – Santa Fe de Antioquia (optional - not included)
After breakfast we leave Medellín for Santa Fe de Antioquia municipality, declared Humanity´s Heritage. Its small cobbled streets and its beautiful houses with balconies recall the colonial period. The access road goes through a 4km tunnel and by the “Puente Colgante de Occidente”, a masterpiece of engineering from the 19 century. As an optional activity you could go horse riding in the surrounding mountains. Meals: B.
Day 11- February 26. Medellin - Cartagena
Transfer to the airport. Upon arrival in Cartagena transfer to your chosen hotel where you can have dinner, relax and prepare for the rest of your adventure. Meals: B.
Day 12 - February 27. Cartagena. City Tour
Our Cartagena City Tour will take approximately four hours. We begin the tour with a visit to Cerro de la Popa, a cloister built on top of a hill that dominates the entire urban complex. Following this we will see the oldest church in the city, San Pedro Claver. Finding ourselves in the famous Old City, we will visit Plaza Bolivar, Bobedas and the Bocagrande Panoramic. The Old City retains all the charm of the colonial days, its narrow, cobbled streets flanked by charming balconies and traditional wooden doors. We will finish in the commercial centre of Cartagena, Pierino Gallo, for some shopping. Your afternoon will be free to enjoy the city at your leisure. Includes entrances to La Popa Monastery, San Pedro Claver Church and San Felipe Fort. Meals: B.
Day 13 - February 28. Cartagena
Free day to enjoy the beautiful city of Cartagena and its coble stone streets within the walled city. Meals: B.
Day 14 - February 29. Cartagena - Santa Marta- Tayrona National Park
Transfer to Santa Marta and Tayrona (about 5 hours). Today you will travel to one of the highlights of this tour, the Tayrona National Park ,where the jungle meets the Caribbean. Meals: B.
Day 15 & 16 - March 1 & 2. Tayrona National Park
Free days to enjoy and relax by the sea, sunning yourself and reflecting upon your wonderful journey on one of Colombia´s most beautiful beaches or, as an optional activity, visit the beaches in Neguaje and Playa Cristal, where you’ll enjoy pristine waters, white sand, coral reefs, and beautiful views of bays.
Day 17 - March 3. Tayrona - Santa Marta - Bogota.
At the chosen time you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Bogota and home.
All good things must come to an end, after all. Of course, if 16 days just isn´t enough time in Colombia, our tours are 100% customizable and we´d be happy to extend your stay with us. Just ask for more details.